Rouen (anc. Rotomagus), a city of France, capital of the department of Seine-Inférieure, on the right bank of the Seine, 67 m. N. W. of Paris; pop. in 1872, 102,470. It stands on a gentle acclivity sloping toward the south, and is connected with its suburb St. Sever, on the opposite side of the river, by three bridges. Ramparts formerly extended round Rouen on the land side, and their site is now occupied by boulevards bordered with shade trees. The Place Royale is the principal square; the others are all small; that of La Pucelle contains a statue of the maid of Orleans. The cathedral of Notre Dame, constructed chiefly in the 13th and 16th centuries, is 434 ft. long and 103 ft. broad, with transepts 174 ft. in length, and the nave is 89 ft. high. The front is richly ornamented, and has three fine portals flanked by lofty towers. The central tower at the intersection of the nave and transept is surmounted by an iron spire nearly 470 ft. high. The decorations are very elaborate and profuse. The interior is lighted by 130 windows. It contains many tombs, including that of Richard Coeur de Lion. Near the cathedral is the abbey church of St. Ouen, supposed to be one of the most perfect Gothic edifices in the world.
It has a tower 260 ft. high, composed of open arches and tracery and terminating in a crown of fieurs de lis. Rouen is the seat of an archbishop, and of a Protestant and an Israelite consistory, and has a faculty of Catholic theology and a large theological seminary, a museum rich in masterpieces of painting, a library of 120,000 volumes, an academy of science and arts, and several special schools. Among the public monuments is that of Cornellle, who was born here. Rouen is the chief seat of French cotton manufacture. Ship building is carried on. - Under the Romans Rotomagus was the capital of Gallia Lugdunensis Secunda. In the 3d century it was made the see of a bishop, and afterward was successively the capital of Neustria and of the duchy of Normandy. In 1204 Philip Augustus of France took it from John of England, but it was retaken by Henry V. in 1419, and retained by the English till 1449, when it was finally annexed to France. The maid of Orleans was burned here in 1431. Several engagements took place here at the end of 1870, and the Germans occupied the city from Dec. 5, 1870, till July 22, 1871.